An update of Notebooks for Mac and Notebooks for PC is available for download. The desktop versions of Notebooks are still in beta and available for free.

This version has a few important additions:

  • Search for documents
    (Mac only, we are still working on this for NB/PC)
  • Toggle the number of visible colums
    • cmd/ctrl-1 … document only
    • cmd/ctrl-2 … treeview or list and document
      (type cmd/ctrl-2 repeatedly to toggle tree and listview)
    • cmd/ctrl-3 … treeview, list and document
  • Improved layout of tree view
  • Alternative icons for default theme
  • A series of fixes and improvements

As always, we appreciate your feedback, comments and ideas, which you can post right here or send us by mail.

[button style=”download” link=”/Download/Notebooks%20for%20Mac%201.0b8.dmg”]Get NB/Mac 1.0 b8[/button]

[button style=”download” link=”/Download/”]Get NB/PC 1.0 b8[/button]

Notebooks for Mac/PC 1.0 Beta 8

37 thoughts on “Notebooks for Mac/PC 1.0 Beta 8

  • December 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you for an awesome trio of apps – I use them (Mac, iPad & iPhone) daily and really appreciate how robustly-flexible they are and how wonderfully they keep me organized. Thanks for a great year – I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring!

    All the best and Happy New Year!

    • January 3, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Glad to hear that, Doug, and a Happy New Year to you, too!

  • January 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    It’s incredible that there isn’t any Mac apps out there for a library of notes on dropbox etc. like this. You guys have done a great job with the beta so far. I’ve been hanging out for this one. As soon as you hit the Mac App Store I’ll be putting up a 5-star rating!

  • January 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I love NB and have been keeping up with each beta which keep getting better. One thing I would love to be able to do is to record audio to keep with the notebook so I can review/go back to hear what was said. I was wondering if such as feature has been considered?
    Great product, keep the updates coming. Looking forward to GA.

    Thanks, Russ

    • January 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hi Russ,

      voice memos for Notebooks/Mac and Notebooks/PC are on our list, but they currently don’t have top priority. I hope the recording option in Notebooks on iPad and iPhone can fill in for now…

  • January 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I have been impressed with it so far. Just one thing, the MAC installer is great, think of doing something like this for the Windows version. It was a pain to remove the previous version and install the new one. I know what I am doing around both machines, but there are folks out there who are not.

    Oh and like the new look for the Style and the rest of them. On top makes sense, though it took me a tad, Also I appreciate the look across platforms is essentially the same.

    Though you should know, Notebooks runs well on a seven year old Macbook, a four year old Nettie, a windows gaming machine, no problems, It is smooth on all of them.

    • January 3, 2013 at 11:05 am

      You are right, we need an installer for NB/PC as well; the current bundle really is just a temporary solution.

      Great to hear that you like the new look and that NB runs well on older machines as well 🙂

  • January 6, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I was an early adopter of Notebooks on the iPad, along with a couple of dozen other note-taker & outlining products that have generally not worked out well (excepting GoodReader). I also was an early adopter of MORE (an outliner from the 1980s), which has never been updated and has only one current and feature-bloated replacement (TAO/NEO)

    What are the possibilities of including a simple outliner in Notebooks? For reference, there’s some old but good info at

    Thanks for Notebooks!


    • January 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Hello Joe,

      Thank you for your feedback. In Notebooks, we currently focus on “standard” document formats, and support for outlines is limited, I admit. All you have is indented lists or, at a higher level, nested structures.
      On our list of ideas and suggestions there is a topic to implement OPML, which would be the official format for outlines, but support for that format in iOS is virtually non existent. That is why we kept postponing it. That does not mean, however, that we will never dive into it. Like many aspects of Notebooks, it will be driven by user feedback 😉

  • January 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    AAAHHHHH!!!! WTF!!! I just downloaded the osx app and while I understand it is in beta, it just permanently deleted an entire main folder on my hard drive. Upon first opening Notebooks, it oddly listed all my main folders much like a Finder window does. I of course do not need all of those there so I tried to remove them. It did warn me that removing this “Notebook” can not be undone but I would never think that it meant it was actually deleting all these files for good from my actual hard drive. They are not even in the Trash Bin. HUGE WTF. I aim to try out a new app and within a minute end up losing a ton of files.

    • January 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      I now realize why all these folders came up as the default location is set to /Users/Dallas which made me think that all new documents and books would be saved within this folder. By creating a new folder for use within this app, I solved the problem but still can’t believe that it defaults to listing my main folders and actually manipulates them permanently. Death trap.

      • January 9, 2013 at 11:32 am

        Hi Dallas,

        I’m sorry to hear what happened!

        Didn’t Notebooks ask you which folder to use when you first launched it? – By default, the app looks for Dropbox/Notebooks in your home directory (this is where your documents from an iPad or iPhone would be when syncing with Dropbox), and if that does not exist, it asks you which folder to use. We hoped this would make the users aware of what he is going to see in Notebooks. (This is also explained in the Readme document)

        When you delete folders or documents from Notebooks, they are moved to the trash; Notebooks does not immediately delete them to give users an option to restore. Now it is interesting why you did not find them in your trash; could it be that you had already emptied it?

  • January 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Alfons.
    Notebooks on my Mac is working superbly and keeps getting better after each update. Keep up the great work. I use NB synced via dropbox across iPhone, iPad and now Mac – Fantastic. One suggestion. Is it possible to have a quick launch button on the top menu bar on the Mac so you can quickly launch a note window in my default format that then floats over documents or web browsers. I hope this makes sense.

    • January 9, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Hi Tony,

      Thank you for your suggestion. We’ll put that on out todo list!

      • January 10, 2013 at 10:24 am

        Hi Alfons.
        Thats great to hear. Thanks. Growly Notes offers this function and was a very useful function as it allows you to quickly open a note window only (via click or shortcut key), capture your thought and then it was saved in the general inbox (BTW – I have now moved to Notebooks which is much better in my humble opinion). Hope this helps.

  • January 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Is there any way to make .plist files invisible in Finder on the Mac?


    • January 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Hi Timothy,

      there is no standard way of making these files invisible in Finder, but there are some “tricks” that may help, as listed here, for example. – Please use that with caution, we cannot take any responsibility of what that does to your plist files!

  • January 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Alfons,

    I really appreciate the Search function on the Mac version.

    It would be significantly enhanced if you would add the “X” to clear the current search term.

    Sure, I can highlight and delete now, but the one-click option is smoother and faster.

    Thanks for one of the most useful apps in the Apple eco-system!

    Don Blohowiak, PhD

    • January 28, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Hi Don, that “x” will be available in the next update already.

  • January 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    i’m using notebooks on my macbook pro. and my ipad.

    i can’t yet drag and drop or use a ‘move’ menu item to send a note from one notebook to another on the desktop (mac) this right?

    until this is implemented, it’s a real handicap to using the mac app.

    • January 28, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Hi Ken,

      drag & drop is already supported for documents and books, so it *should* be possible to rearrange your contents without issues. You move a document by dragging it from the list (second column) onto the new parent (in the leftmost column); similarly, you move books by dragging them onto their new parent. Doesn’t that work for you?


  • January 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Confused. Why would I want to use a ‘notebooks’ app on my mac or PC to edit the notes I sync to my iPxxxx devices? What make it better than any other text editor?

    • January 28, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Of course you can use any text or HTML editor, too, but using Notebooks on your Mac or PC provides a more familiar “experience” and lets you use more functionality like task lists, individual fonts, colors, documents styles, automatic Markdown conversion and much more. I am sure that expert users are perfectly fine using TextWrangler or another editor, but other users appreciate the familiarity and integration…

  • January 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Hi, loving your work on this. I have now migrated from Awesome Note to Notebooks and run the app on iPad, iPhone, Mac and PC. Keep up the great work. One thing I noticed today on the Mac App, if I make an amendment to a task note, it removes the due date and reminder time from the note on my iPad & iPhone when synced.

    Also, is it possible to put a due date & reminder on the Mac App?

    Thank you.

    • January 28, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Hello Paul,

      regarding the due date that gets lost: are you using the latest version of Notebooks? We known, this used to be an issue in an earlier version, but should be fixed now…
      In NB/Mac you can set a due date (right click the task and select “Set Due Date…”, but setting an alarm time is not yet implemented. This will follow, though.

  • January 23, 2013 at 5:24 am

    I’ve jumped straight into using this app to take notes for my full course load this past quarter. Since we’re on a quarter system here at UCSD, everything happens very fast paced and we’re overloaded with information while dealing with unique teaching styles. Some professors throw readings at you, other power points, some with 3 hour lectures where they literally talk at you. Notebooks’ innovative notebook idea is interesting. It’s a great hybridization between what would be an alternative Finder and a note taking application. I use it because of the ease of access associated with the jumble of information thats literally thrown in my face.

    That said, there are a couple of things that I see as critical for the success of this application. Right now, the app feels like it was literally pulled off an iPad onto a mac. Its almost a bit raw and elementary in operation and flow. From minor details such as the lack of abilities to “tab” to indent lists to more fundamental focuses such as cocoa related text options like the three-finger tap to define a word, I think there is space for improvement.
    Aside from the tabs to indent lists and three finger tap to define a word, I think there should be the following modifications to for this to be more competitive in the note taking application market:
    1) a drag drop ability for inserting images and graphics
    2) system integration in spell check/grammar check on the mac version
    3)When the Notebooks view is collapsed, the current open notebook shouldn’t take over the entire width of the navigator combined but rather move over allowing for more space in typing.
    4) support for paste and match style for easier pasting

    In the future I’d like to see better PDF integration and document integration. I understand that this is a beta and I am thoroughly impressed. I’m glad I’ve jumped straight into using it for my notes this quarter. Please feel free to email me directly for more questions, comments or support!

    • January 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm


      thanks a lot for your feedback and suggestions. – The fact that we are developing NB/Mac and NB/PC from the same source code might explain why a few things that are specific for the Mac platform are not yet available in Notebooks. Examples are the text options you mentioned in your post. We know that these features would make Notebooks more “Mac native” and we will do our best to add them 😉

      A few more comments:

      1) Drag&drop for inserting images is on our todo list
      2) see above…
      3) It seems difficult to find one single solution to that, because devoting the space that is usually shared by two columns to a single one allows the user to focus on the contents of one book, for example, and displays more of the items’ titles. – Maybe the shortcuts cmd-1/2/3 to toggle the number of columns come in handy here?
      4) Paste and match style is already available from the context menu.
      5) PDF and document integration is on our list, too.

      As you can imagine, the list of things to add/improve is long, and while I cannot promise if or when we will be able to implement all those things, we’ll try hard to make Notebooks for Mac/PC as powerful as possible 🙂


  • February 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Alfons,

    I tried the 1.0b8 version on Mac OSX 10.8. I liked it a lot (I’ve just bought the iOS version for iPad, too). My comments relate to the output and printing of notes.

    To be honest I don’t need yet another editor for OSX since BBEdit is so capable. I also bought Markdown Composer recently just to support Fletcher Penney, AND I own a copy of Marked to display/print markdown files (it has some v. nice touches from B. Terpstra).

    Your trick for supporting both Markdown and the HTML representation in the same file is very nice. But it makes it difficult to output the file in the various formats for which Markdown converters are readily available (plain, html + styles, latex, RTF etc). This flexibility is the main reason I use MD.

    1. I suggest you offer a ‘plain text’ duplication option with (say) an “.md” extension that I can export, possibly out of the Book to another directory on OSX so that I can re-process the MD-formatted text in various ways. Naturally, this suggests, too the ability to import a MD-formatted text version into your html+plaintext tricked-out ‘.html’ file in case I make changes to the file outside Notebooks.

    2. I am puzzled by your decision to print a plain-text note (not converted to a ‘rich text’ format in Notebooks), as an MD-formatted file. Does anyone ever want a PRINTED version of a marked-up MD file?

    3. I then tried the conversion to “Rich Text” which seems to be another ‘.html’ file with embedded CSS and a ‘Rich Text’ button bar in Notebooks. This allows me to print the note using the CSS-formatted representation of the document. OK. But why couldn’t I do that without converting to ‘Rich text’.

    4. Notebooks also allows me to see the ‘HTML’ version of the “Rich text” format with the embedded CSS, but NOT to edit the file. Why show it at all if it can’t be edited? The first thing I wanted to do when I saw the printed representation of this ‘Rich Text’ version was to change the margins: the CSS seemed the obvious place to do so but I could not.

    I like your software which has many thoughtful touches. I’m looking forward to future releases.


    • February 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Dear Peter,

      thanks a lot for your feedback! – Printing is an area we have not yet taken too much care of in NB/Mac, which may already explain why it feels so rough. But let me go into some more detail:

      1. You are right, we need a better way to support Markdown experts. Our approach to combine the plain text and formatted versions into a single document was essential at times when the iOS did not support WYSIWYG editing at all. Today, it still is convenient, but it can also get in you way.
      So, what we want to do at least is treat (edit and save) .md and .markdown documents as plain text, but display them as formatted documents. This, I think, is what expert users are expecting. Of course, it is just as important to allow users to create .md documents. – This has been on our list for a while and I do hope we will soon find the time to implement that.

      2. & 3. I must admit, we were not even aware of this glitch. We’ll take care of it, asap!

      4. Just last week we changed that and made the HTML code editable, it was just too tempting 🙂 So, the next update will give you all freedom here.

      Related to printing are the style sheets. So far, we have not added any specific styles for printing (optimize printing margins etc), but we are currently working on that, too.

      Well, there still is a lot to do 🙂

      Thanks again!

  • February 17, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Hey Dev’s, has anyone told you that they love you recently!?
    You are certainly onto something awesome with all this!

    Frustrated by the ever-degrading Evernote, I’ve been looking for a replacement. What Notebooks offers over Evernote is truly liberated data- and for that, I love you!

    One area where I think Notebooks could benefit from some attention is user defined styles. The current implementation is limited and a bit confusing. It should be a lot easier to use custom stylesheets- globally, per notebook and on a per-note basis (each overriding its predecessor).

    Defining a custom style for entire notebooks would be really helpful, for example- I would style all the notes in my “snippets” notebook very differently to my “personal journal” notebook.

    Regarding markdown workflow-

    You are definitely on the right track with how to improve markdown support (display html, edit plain text). One brilliant feature would be attaching images to markdown documents. That is, adding an image to the NBImages folder and linking it via Markdowns img syntax[1]

    Finally, arbitrary attachments-

    Would it be possible to allow attachment of *any* filetype? Notebooks doesn’t need to handle the media, but simply add it to a new folder e.g. NBattachments and link to it from the note- clicking this link would use the OS’s default file handler for that file.

    Anyhow, I hope these ideas are helpful! Thanks again for all your hard work, I am excited to be taking this journey with you.


    • February 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Dear Nathan,

      thank you for your great feedback, which is very encouraging. We are glad to hear you like the approach we took with Notebooks.

      Regarding the custom styles: you can already now assign a document style globally in NB’s settings, for a book and all of its contents in a book’s properties (right click the book) and even per document (right click the document). Just as you suggest, each setting overrides the other: NB checks the document’s individual settings first, then the parent books all the way up and finally looks at the global settings. As soon as NB finds a style setting the search stops. — Is that what you are suggesting?

      Images in Markdown: I absolutely agree on that. Just like the iOS versions of NB, NB/Mac needs to support drag&drop insertion of image into plain text (using Markdown) and rich text. I cannot promise, but maybe we manage to get that into the next beta already.

      Arbitrary attachments are a new idea, but the approach you describe sounds good and would remain in line with the way NB currently works. I’ll add that to our todo list!

      So again, thanks a lot for your feedback and suggestions!

      • February 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        Hi Alfons,

        It’s my pleasure to offer my feedback and suggestions! Is this comment thread the preferred place for discussion?

        Regarding user-styles, I have two points to convey:

        Firstly, a bug report. The “notebook style” functionality you describe is not quite working properly here. For instance, if I right click a notebook and change fonts / colors / etc. the changes do not stick- Notes within the notebook do not update and re-opening the settings on the notebook shows that the values remain at their global default.

        Irrespective of this bug, I would like to discuss how user styles currently behave and offer an alternate view that may be of use. 

        Currently, What you have is a basic set of adjustable default CSS rules; and then a WYSIWYG CSS editor, adjustable on a per use basis.

        This level of abstraction could be simplified (if not removed completely).

        At the moment, styles are defined with the following options: Font; Text Color; BG Color; BG Pattern; and Style. The “Style” option contains “everything else in the CSS stylesheet” and behaves like a switchable template…

        But why not make the whole CSS stylesheet the switchable template? Combine all those text options into the switchable template! That way users could have a variety of fully styled templates to assign to notes or notebooks at will- easily switching between them at any given time. This is the whole power of CSS and why dev’s stopped styling inside HTML. These benefits would apply to NB users too!

        Giving users raw access to the CSS has fantastic implications, allowing the note-taking experience to be tailored to the individuals needs. And users would be able to share their stylesheets among the community, which is always nice!

        These CSS stylesheets are also what will be used to display any Markdown notes, naturally, again switchable templates!

        Ahk, I kind of feel like I might not be articulating my thoughts properly (its past midnight where I am now) but hopefully they make some kind of sense, or at least you can see where I am coming from?

        At this early stage, I can see NB filling a lonely void between Evernote and nvALT and anything I can do to help make NB the best it can be, I will!

        • February 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

          Hi again, Nathan,

          thanks a lot for your additional thoughts. – Yes, this is the preferred platform for discussion – at least until WordPress comes up with a nice discussion forum option.

          I think you conveyed your thoughts perfectly, and would I tend to say that your suggestion of a “switchable template”, although not originally planned, is possible already now:

          If you take a look at our default style sheets, you see a couple of variables for font, font size, color etc. These variables get replaced when Notebooks applies the CSS to a document (Markdown or HTML), which makes sense for those not familiar with CSS and HTML.
          However, when you create your own style sheet, you are free to omit these variables and hard code your preferred fonts and colors. Notebooks will leave them as they are. So I think this already provides everything you are looking for, doesn’t it?

          A couple of weeks ago another user sent us his style sheet (he uses hard coded fonts and sizes) and offered us to share it via our website. This page is not live yet, but we are planning to provide kind of a “style exchange platform” for all Notebooks users. – I am glad you suggested that, too, as it shows that there IS interest.

          Regarding the bug(s) you mentioned: the current Mac version does have an issue displaying the correct setting for a book (especially there inherited settings), but that will be fixed in the next update.

          Another thing to be aware of is this: changing font or color at book level does not immediately change formatted documents, because these settings are baked into the CSS.The CSS will be updated as soon as you edit a document or when you use the action “Apply current style”, available for individual documents and from a book’s “Process multiple…”


  • February 24, 2013 at 8:22 am

    can i be sure that notes i will add are presevered when nb is going official?


    • February 28, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Hi Ferry,

      you don’t need to worry about your documents. Notebooks stores them on your hard drive (in your Dropbox folder in case you use Dropbox sync) and you can always access these documents from Finder or Windows Explorer.

  • February 25, 2013 at 10:35 am


    • February 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

      Thank you for this report! A new beta version of Notebooks will appear within the next couple of hours, and in case you still have this issue with update, please let us know.

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